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to the current mode of thought, the greater became the necessity of fortifying their own position against assault. Here again they had only to follow the example of the Eleatics. To prove the soundness of their position directly, as Parmenides had done, was no easy matter. More important results might be expected, if their opponents' ground was assailed by the criticism of Zeno and Gorgias. From Zeno the founder of the School had appropriated the Eleatic doctrine precisely in this its critical function, Zeno and the Sophists being the principal persons who drew attention hereto in central Greece. This path of criticism the Megarians now struck out with such preference, that the whole school herefrom derived its name. We are assured by Diogenes, that it was the practice even of Euclid, to attack conclusions and not premises—in other words, to refute by a reductio ad absurdum. It is also said that Euclid 3 (1) That rejected explanations by analogies-a form much of Euclid. used by Socrates-because a similar thing when cited makes nothing clearer, and a dissimilar thing is irrelevant. The most telling description of Euclid's method will probably be found in Plato, who, speak
i See p. 250, 3.
470), it is most probable that 2 ii. 107 : ταις τε αποδείξεσιν the meaning given above is the ενίστατο ου κατά λήμματα αλλά real meaning of these words. . κατ' επιφοράν. Since in Stoical 3 Ιbid. και τον διά παραβολής terminology-which we are of λόγον ανήρει, λέγων ήτοι εξ ομοίων course not justified in ascribing αυτόν ή εξ ανομοίων συνίστασθαι· to Euclid on the strength of και ει μεν εξ ομοίων, περί αυτά this passage-λήμμα means the δείν μάλλον η οις όμοιά εστιν major premiss, or more often αναστρέφεσθαι· ει δ' εξ ανομοίων, both premises, and επιφορά the παρέλκειν την παράθεσιν. conclusion (Deycks, 34; Prantl,
ing in the Sophistes of the philosophers of conceptions, says that in their discourses they destroy matter piecemeal, in order to prove that it has no real being but is subject to flux and change. This is exactly the line which Zeno adopted, in order to prove the uncertainty of the perceptions of the senses ;2 and which we notice also in the Sorites of the later Megarians: the apparently substantial bodily mass is divided into its component parts, and there being no limit to the division, and no ultimate atom on which contemplation can rest, it is argued that matter must be itself unreal, and a mere passing phenomenon. Euclid is accordingly rightly regarded as the founder of the Megarian criticism. Still, with him criticism does not seem to have attained the character of formal captiousness, although objection may be taken to his controversial tone :3 it would appear that, like Zeno before him, he was primarily anxious to maintain his positive principles, and that he only used the subtleties of argument as a means to this end. Nothing, at least, is known of him which would lead to an opposite conclusion, nor is any one of the quibbling fallacies laid to his charge, for which the Megarian school was afterwards notorious.
See p. 256, 1; 259, 2. statement proves but little, 2 SeeZeller, G. d. Griech. Part since it uses the term Sophist I., 496.
in a way peculiar to post-So3 According to Diog. ii. 30, cratic times. It is more worthy Socrates had already observed, of belief (Diog. ii. 107) that that because of his captious- Timon called him a quarrel. ness, he might associate pos- some person, who introduced sibly with Sophists, but not amongst the Megarians a rage with human beings. But this for disputes.
Among the immediate successors of Euclid, however, the element of captiousness prevailed over positive teaching. Such teaching as they had was too scanty to command attention for long, and too abstract to admit of further development. On the other hand a polemic against prevailing opinions presented to the sharp-witted, to the contentious, and to those ambitious of intellectual distinction, an unexplored field, over which the Megarians eagerly ranged. Not seldom their metaphysical assumptions served only as occasions for hard-fighting with words. Among the fallacies which are attributed to Eubulides, though they probably belong to an earlier
1 The ordinary form of these νων, the έγκεκαλυμμένος, and the captious proofs is that of ask- Electra are only different forms ing questions. Hence the of the same fallacy. Do you regular expression : abyov épw- know who is concealed ? Do Tây (to raise a point) in Diog. you know who is behind the ii. 108; 116 ; Sext. Math. x. 87; veil ? Did Electra know her and the Μεγαρικά ερωτήματα in brother before he announced the fragment of Chrysippus; himself to her ? and the soluin Plut. Sto. Rep. 10, 9, p. 1036. tion of them all consists in Conf. Arist. Phys. viii. 8; 263, the fact, that he who was cona, 4, 7; Anal. Pr. ii. 19, 66, a, cealed, or behind the veil, or 26 ; 36; i, 32, 47, a, 21. But had not yet announced himlike the Sophists, they refused self respectively, was known every answer but Yes or No. to, but not immediately recogDiog. ii. 135.
nised by, the lookers on. See 2 Diog. ii. 108, enumerates Arist. S. El. c. 24, 179, a, 33 ; 7: that called yeudóuevos, that Alex, in loc. and 49; Lucian, called Slanavbávwv, the Electra, Vit. Auct, 22, and Prantl. The the έγκεκαλυμμένος, the σωρίτης, κερατίνης is as follows: Have the κερατίνης, the φαλακρός. The you lost your horns ? If you first of them is given as fol- say Yes, you allow that you had lows in Arist. Soph. El. 25, 180, horns. If you say No, you a, 34, b, 2; Alex. ad loc. Cic. allow that you have them still, Acad. ii. 29, 95: If a man says Diog, vii. 187; vi. 38; Seneca, he is at the moment telling a Ep. 45, 8;
Gell. xvi. 2, 9; lie, is he telling a lie, or is he Prantl, p. 53. The Sorites conspeaking truth? The duhavod- sists in the question: How
CHAP. time, only one, the Sorites, has any intelligible relaXII.
tion to their metaphysics. By means of this form of (2) Eristic argument it could be proved that no enduring being of Eubulides. belongs to objects of sense, but that every such
object passes into its opposite, and represents what is changing, and not what is real and unchangeable.2 The rest appear to be simple sophisms, having no other object than to involve opponents in difficulties, critical works of art, which made indeed the need felt of an accurate investigation into the laws of thought, but in the pursuit of which the desire of conducing to a right intellectual method by pointing out difficulties and refuting untenable opinions falls
altogether into the background. (3) That of The powers of Alexinus in argument seem to Alexinus.
many grains make a heap? or Chrysippus are known to us more generally: With what from Diog. vii. 196 ; v. 49. number does Many begin? Of Chrysippus, according to Diog. course it is impossible to assign vii. 198, 192, also wrote on the a number. See Cic. Acad. ii. 28, Saravőávwv, the dykekalvuuévos, 92; 16, 49; Diog. vii. 82 ; Pers. and the owpírns. Philet us of Sat. vi. 78; Prantl, p. 54. The Cos' is said to have worked φαλακρός is another form of the himself to death in writing same: How many hairs must about the yeudóuevos, Athen. you lose to become a bald-head?ix. 401, e. The κερατίνης and See Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 45; Prantl, éykekal vyjévos were also attri. 1. c. ; Deycks, 51.
buted to Diodorus (Diog. ii. There are, for instance, in- 111), and the former (Diog. vii. dications of the Sorites in 187) as also the Sorites (Diog. Zeno and Euclid. In general vii. 82) to Chrysippus, certainly it is difficult to say who are without reason to Chrysippus. the discoverers of quibbles, ? Compare what will be later which are taken seriously at said about Diodorus' proofs in the time they are produced, denying motion. but are after all only bad jokes. 3 The motive which Prantl, Seneca, Ep. 45, 10, says that p. 52, sees in the dykekalupuévos many books had been written is not so patent, and the ason the yeudóuevos, among which sumptions of Brandis, p. 122, those of Theophrastus and do not seem accurate.
have been of a similar kind. He, at least, is only СНАР. known to us as a captious disputant. Nothing further is known of him beyond an argument in which he vainly attempted to entangle Menedemus in what is called the “horned' fallacy, and a refutation of Xenophon’s proofs of the reasonable arrangement of the world, which was subsequently repeated by the Academicians. In close connection with the Megarian doctrines may be placed the discussions of Diodorus on motion and destruction, on the possible, and on hypothetical sentences. Tradition has preserved four arguments, by which (4) That of
Diodorus. Diodorus attempted to support the fundamental
(a) On teaching of bis school on the impossibility of motion. Motion. The first, which in the main is the same as that of Zeno, is as follows. Supposing anything to move, it must either move in the space in which it is, or in the space
in which it is not. In the former it has not room to move, because it entirely fills it; in the latter it can neither act nor be acted upon; hence motion is inconceivable. The second is a less
1 See p. 254, 1.
έν δε κόσμου κρείττόν έστι: ποιη2 In Diog. ii. 135.
τικόν άρα και γραμματικόν έστιν 3 Sext. Math. ix. 107: Zeno kóduos. had concluded, because the 4 Cic. N. D. iii. 8, 21; 10, 26; world is the best possible, and 11, 27. reason is higher than the ab- 5 Sext. Pyrrh. ii. 242 ; iii. 71; sence of reason, that the world Math. x. 85; i. 311. must have reason. See Cic. 8 Sext. Pyrrh. iii. 243, menDe N. D. ii. 8, 21; iii. 9, 22. tions a similar argument against To this Alexinus replied: To becoming in general, in immeποιητικών του μη ποιητικού και το diate connection with the proof γραμματικών του μη γραμματικού given above: Neither can what κρείττον εστι • και το κατά τας is come into being, for it exists ärras téxvas Dewpobjevov kpeite already ; nor can what is not, τον έστι του μη τοιούτου. ουδέ for nothing can happen to it ;